Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Smoking Vapor Mi-Pod - review

Well, I'm an over 6 foot tall, nearly 20 stone bearded bloke currently vaping on a rainbow coloured pod device not much larger than a zippo lighter, and my god, I'm in love...

So, the reason I have this device is that I wanted to review the Ruthless nic salts eliquid I was sent, and as they recommended a pod device I wanted to do them justice, and I thought once I'd tried all the juice out I'd pass it on to the Mrs and she could use it.

I went to my local B&M vape shop (find them online here and spoke to the guys in there about what they'd recommend as I know they try almost every new device out there and they really know what they're talking about. The first thing I noticed was that every one of them had one of these on a lanyard around their necks... One of the guys in the shop told me I had to try his out straight away, yes, this was the device I wanted to use, I just needed to see what colour the Mrs would want, and of course, rainbow... Unfortunately I fell in love with it and so its mine, in all it's rainbow glory!!

So... in the box you get the device, a tiny little thing with a 950mAh battery and just one button to turn it on and off, it's draw-activated which is handy. You get 2 pods which each hold 2ml of liquid, a great little flat USB cable and a lanyard connector.

So, the pods, they're little plastic pods containing a tiny 1.2ohm coil and using organic Japanese cotton, with 2 metal connectors and a rubber bung covering the fill hole. There's then a hole right through the centre for the draw activation and a small hole for your vapour. As far as the airflow goes, it's a restricted direct to lung hit for me, but I know the guys in The Vapour Bar have been using it Mouth to Lung, I just find it a touch airy for MTL, even with the little plug they supply installed in the airflow to restrict it. I find a gentle direct to lung draw works best for me, but can sometimes result in a dry hit, I feel that might be user error though! They say you can fill the pods around 5 times, and that seems about right for me, and for the amount I've been using it, which to be honest is quite a lot I've had about a week out of each pod.

The device itself feels great in the hand, it's tiny, but feels really substantial. It lights up when on charge or when vaping, starting at full battery - blue, 50% battery - purple and oh bugger recharge quickly - red. There's a tiny little button that you can click 5 times to turn the device on and off or hold it for 5 seconds to activate "stealth mode" which just turns off the LED.

As far as the device goes that's about it, it's really simple and works brilliantly, I absolutely love mine, just wish I'd gone with a manlier colour! At £36.99 here (The Vapour Bar - MiPod) it's an absolute bargain and with the pods at £7.49 for 2 they're pretty good value too, especially when you take into account how little liquid you will get through using this!

If I lost this would I buy another... Well I've considered this a few times as it's so bloody tiny and I refuse to wear it around my neck, and yes, I really would, what a brilliant little device! I may even have to buy myself a manlier colour and let my good lady have this one!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Texas Tuff cotton - Review

Yet another US company has taken a chance on this daft bearded bloke from the UK and sent me a selection of all their cotton for me to check out and review, and so I want to start by saying a huge thankyou to them!

So there's two varients here the OG "Texas Tuff - not another pansy ass cotton ball", and then "Juicy Wix" and they each come in "original" and "quick wix" form.

Basically the Texas Tuff OG is a raw organic cotton and you can see it's a slight brown colour and the Juicy Wix is brilliant white, presumably it's been treated, but I can't find out how anywhere. Then the magic comes with the Quick Wix, it's long cotton fibers all combed the same way so you can see the individual strands of cotton, not like a ball of fluff you usually get.

I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of the original Texas Tuff, I find it takes quite a while to break in and have a good flavour.

However, I'm absolutely in love with Juicy Wix, it's been the only cotton I've used for about a month now, Ive wanted to make sure I was happy before I put an opinion out there, and I really am happy. It's great in original form but as Quick Wix it's brilliant, so easy to wick with and it fluffs really well, holds a tonne of eliquid and has such a long life!

I usually use Native Wicks cotton, but I definitely think I've found a new favourite!

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Ruthless Nic-Salt Eliquid - Review

Well, the lovely people over at Ruthless Vapor have sent me some juice to review, and I can't thank them enough. It means a lot that a huge company would send me stuff to review, but I will say here it won't affect my opinion at all, I'm not going to say something is great just because it's free.

Anyway, what do we have... 

So they sent 2 flavours from their new nic-salt line, Grape Drank on Ice and Ez Duz It, both at an eye-watering 35mg nicotine level and then a 60ml bottle each of their new flavours Strizzy and Tropic Thunda.

Well, Grape Drank was the first "premium" juice I ever tried and I fell in love instantly, it's exactly like an American grape soda, and the Grape Drank on Ice is exactly the same with a cool exhale that I think just enhances it! This could very easily be an all day vape for me, and pretty much has been for the last few weeks while I've been sampling it, I haven't tried a better juice in a long time!

Unfortunately I'm not a fan of strawberry e-liquid at all, and the other three flavours are strawberry based, however, Ez Duz It with the watermelon is utterly delicious, the strawberry doesnt take over and I really like this juice!

Now to Strizzy and Tropic Thunda, they're both a bit too heavy on the strawberry for me, so I gave them to a friend who loves both strawberry and Ruthless juice and definitely made his day. He absolutely loved the guava behind the strawberry in the Tropic Thunda and the kiwi in the Strizzy. I just wish I liked strawberry!

Now, down to the insane amount of nicotine in the salt-nic line... We in the UK obviously won't get anywhere near this high as and when these make their way here, but my god I wish we could. There's little to no throat hit and in a little pod device (the MiPod Gen Three to be exact, review coming soon) the nicotine hit is fantastic. Brilliant when you can't chain vape or you're having a stressful day!

Would I buy these if they were to be released in the UK? Absolutely for Grape Drank on Ice and Ez Duz It... Tropic Thunda and Strizzy no, I wouldnt, but that's just my preference. They're still excellent e-liquids and definitely made my friends day, well, his week when I gave him 120ml of free juice, just a shame they aren't to my taste!

Once again, an enormous thankyou to the wonderful people over at Ruthless Vapor for taking a chance on a daft bearded bloke from the UK.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Back to Basics - Battery Wraps

Today we're doing another Back to Basics, and we're taking a look at battery wraps. This is an important one as the batteries we use as vapers can be incredibly dangerous if not looked after, and it's so simple to keep them good as new. I'm not going to get into what can go wrong, we've all seen the horror stories, but we should only be using clean, well wrapped batteries, no matter your budget there's wraps out there for you, some awesome vape shops out there will even do it for you!

So to start we take a look at a Samsung 30Q that's been slightly abused and the wrap is starting to come away on the negative end.

All we need to do is carefully, and with nothing metal, peel away the wrap. The little plastic ring resting on my finger is an insulator, and it's very important you keep this part as it helps protect against a short circuit on the positive end of your battery. Some cells with have these glued in place, but a lot are loose, so just make sure you don't throw it away with the wrap you're taking off.

Now here we have some awesome wraps from ODB, I bought these from, there are cheaper alternatives out there, but the ODB ones are super high quality and look awesome, so I'm going to try them out.

All you need to do is slip inside your unwrapped battery, making sure you've an even amount of wrap hanging over both ends. You dont want to be completely covering one end and then leaving the other completely exposed!

Pop your insulator ring back in the positive end and make sure it's nice and central, most will fit perfectly, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Then the fun bit, you grab a hairdryer, put it on hot and get shrinking! Hold it a few inches away from the battery as we don't want to get them too hot, just warm enough to make the wrap nice and snug. If you've ever put a crisp packet in the oven and watched it shrink down to an inch high then you'll really enjoy this bit as I did, it took me back to being 5 again. Run the hot air all over the wrap to make sure its all nice and smooth and you're done!

And there we have it, 6 batteries as good as new, and once again safe in less time than it took to write this piece on how to do it!!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Back To Basics - Coil Cleaning!

Today I'm wanting to start a new series, I'm going to call it “Back To Basics”, but I'm probably starting a little further down the line that I should! I'm starting with cleaning coils in a rebuildable atomiser, any type will work the same way as long as you can dry-fire your coils (I'll explain what this is later, so don't worry). As much as I maybe should start with installing coils and wicking them, I'm jumping in here because in the last few weeks on the Facebook groups and forums of which I'm a member I'm seeing a huge amount of people discussing this, not sure what they're doing, and people replacing their coils far more regularly than is really needed.

Now, a lot of coil builders out there do it because they love doing so, and so thoroughly enjoy replacing their coils every couple of days with a shiny new set, and as wire isn't particularly expensive if that's you, then all the best to you, have fun! This guide is for those builders who predominantly use pre-bought, sometimes very expensive coils and who want to get more life out of them, or those that like me, just can't be bothered putting a new build in their device and want to be up and vaping again in less than 5 mins!

So, for this guide I've been on these coils for around 2 weeks trying to get them as black and gunky as I can, but to be honest they still aren't that bad, the juice I've been on is pretty kind to coils, but no matter how gross your coils are, they will clean up to nearly new the exact same way!

I'm using the Dead Rabbit SQ here, as the raised deck shows off the coil nicely, on the Vandy Vape Pulse, my current all day device set up. Ideally I'd do this on a regulated device, and I recommend you do the same, just incase your coil moves or shorts, we don't want exploding batteries, but I was careful, and I love the Pulse, so I stuck with it. I'm also using a cup of water, where I'd normally use the tap, this just shows off the cleaning more easily, and you can see the gunk as it comes off. The tap will work much faster, just please, please be sure to keep water out of your device and away from batteries. Use a slow trickle, and angle your mod so that no water at all will hit it, a wet mod is likely to short and/or auto-fire, neither of these things will end well, at all, and so please be careful!

To start off with we need to remove the cotton from our coils, do this carefully as you don't want to distort or damage your coils, I find the easiest way is trim off one of your cotton legs as near to the coil as you can, then just gently pull it out.

Here we see a dirty, pretty nasty looking coil out of the CoilMaster Skynet kit, and as it's such a lovely parallel build, I don't want to get rid of it quite yet. All we're doing to start is giving it a quick dip to rinse off any juice left on it, then we're going to “dry-fire” our coil. All this means is to heat up your coil until its glowing red without any cotton or juice. Once it's glowing red you need to then get it in the water, and you'll see the filth come straight off. You may need to repeat this a couple of times to make sure its nice and clean, but it really is as simple as that! Just be sure to not use cold water, I tend to just use slightly warm, if your coils go from red hot to freezing cold that quickly then it can “shock” the metal causing them to wear out much faster, and sometimes just fail altogether, leaving you having to replace them anyway.

Once we're clean (it'll never be quite as shiny as new, but it will vape perfectly), then I simply heat the coil slightly to dry it and the build deck off, before we we-wick and are good to vape. This process can be repeated over, and over again, I've had coils in RDAs for months, even with vaping on them every day. These coils have been in my Dead Rabbit since I bought it, all I keep doing is cleaning them off, and there's no reason you can't do the same!

Keep an eye out here, I'm going to keep these guides coming, and if you've any suggestions just drop a comment here or on my Instagram!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Vandy Vape Berserker - Review

Today we're taking a look at the Berserker MTL (Mouth to Lung) RTA made by Vandy Vape and "inspired by" Alex the Moldovan reviewer from VapersMD on YouTube, but as I unfortunately don't speak Russian I can't learn much from him...

I have the black version in for review, it's a 24mm single coil, mouth to lung RTA that comes with an ultem “tube” installed that keeps it TPD compliant holding 2ml of e-liquid and a spare pyrex glass and chimney extension that takes the capacity to 4ml. The paint seems to be of great quality, a lovely gloss black on mine (also available in Stainless Steel, gold and rainbow), and all the threads are silky smooth, everything seems to be machined really well. Straight out the box it has an ultem 510 drip tip installed with a slight fluted shape to it making it very comfortable to vape on, and another spare made out of Delrin the exact same shape.

The airflow ring around the bottom rotates easily, moving through a selection of single holes ranging from 0.8mm to 1.6mm, they all offer a very good MTL vape just with varying amounts of restriction, I've been hovering around the middle ranges on the scale, the 1.2mm hole is perfect for me most of the time, giving a tight pull, but delivering a satisfying cloud and nicotine hit.

I'm not usually a MTL vaper, I like very low ohm builds on an RDA with huge amounts of airflow, but I have to say I think I'm converted! I've had the Berserker for almost 2 weeks now, I wanted to use it properly before I gave an opinion and I've found myself being drawn to it every day. It's perfect first thing in the morning, when I'm watching a movie and don't want to fill the room with clouds, and especially at those times when I'm stressed, or maybe had a glass of wine or two too many and I can feel my fianceé's cigarettes calling me, then I grab my Berserker and I'm instantly satisfied, so I can thankfully remain The Beardey Vaper!

My only issue with the whole device would be the build deck, its a very simple single coil deck with a screw either end to hold your wire, but I feel it'd be far better with a small clamp either side. The screws don't have much clearance within the posts and the heads aren't particularly large so it can be tricky to get your wire tucked underneath and held properly, but with a little wiggle it's managable, just not as neat a situation as I'd like.

Wicking can also be a tad tricky (for me at least), the first time I tried it leaked like a sieve as I didn't use enough cotton, and my second attempt used too much cotton and so it didn't wick very well giving me dry hits if I chain vaped (thankfully low wattage dry hits aren't too bad). Third time was the charm though, with a 2.5mm ID coil, using just enough cotton to fill the coil, then cutting the wick at a slight angle and fluffing it up to fill the wicking channels it's vaping perfectly and not leaking at all.

My build is a very simple twisted 32 gauge SS316L 2.5mm ID coil, reading 0.47Ω. I've been vaping at anywhere between 20-30W using Flavour Boss Blackcurrant Tunes made up to 15mg with nicotine salts, and it's been pretty much perfect. I find I get more mint/menthol out of the juice than fruity blackcurrant, but as I was a menthol smoker I'm not finding that a bad thing at all! The other bonus to a device like this is that instead of the usual 30ml of e-liquid I can easily get through in a normal day I'm now using 2-3ml and haven't felt like I'm lacking in nicotine at all.

All in all, if you're either a new vaper and want feel like you're still smoking a cigarette or you're more experienced and struggling to keep off the stinkies at the weekends, then at just £26.99 at it's an amazing buy, go and treat yourself!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Coilmaster Skynet Kit - A quick review

Today we're having a quick look at the Coilmaster Skynet kit, a handy little box filled with 48 coils in 8 varieties, yes some are a little boring, just basic Claptons, but there are some lovely parallel wrapped types that look really fancy, but are they any good?!

I've saved this review because I wanted to use each type of coil before I wrote about them, and I've got to say there isn't a bad one in the box! They're all wrapped really well, the parallels have handy little metal clips holding them together so they don't unwind and they all vape very well!

I think my only gripe would be the Ohm ratings for each type of coil they seem to include the long legs and so when you cut them down to use them the resistance drops pretty dramatically, now I like a low build, and so it doesn't bother me too much, but on a couple of the regulated devices I use when I put a dual coil build in then it's reading too low for the mod to fire! It's a little annoying, but it's not a deal breaker, I use grab a different mod! Unfortunately most vapers out there will only have one mod and so once you fit some of these coils they might be a bit useless to you!

They're all made of either Ni80 or A1 Kanthal and while I definitely prefer the Ni80, I've no bad experience with the Kanthal.

At only £17.99 here I feel it's an absolute bargain for 48 coils, they might not be as fancy as some of the lovely hand wrapped sets out there, but at the same time if you can't be bothered wrapping your own wire or coils, and just want nice coils you can easily grab and use on a daily basis for a relatively small amount of money then this may be the kit for you!

In short, you want a handy little box of fancy coils then you'll struggle to go wrong with this little kit!